Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 4,500 Children and their
OAKLAND, CA, April 30 /CNW/ - Children in West Oakland received a brand
new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers
from ForestersTM, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families,
Oakland Unified School District Police Services, the City of Oakland
Redevelopment Agency and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will
serve 4,500 children and their families in the West Oakland community
for years to come. Planning for the playground began at a Design Day
event held in March when local children and community leaders met with
organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground.
The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground
"Foresters shares its financial strength with its members and
communities where they live, such as Oakland," said Kasia Czarski,
Foresters Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "Playgrounds are an
ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong
communities. This new playground at Wade Johnson Park will provide
opportunities families to spend quality time together for years to
Foresters has invested over $3 million with KaBOOM! to build 36
playgrounds across North America since 2006. These playgrounds will
eventually serve more than 575,000 children, providing them and their
families with a place where they can play, learn and have fun together.
"This wonderful playground is a powerful example of what is possible
when organizations collaborate to benefit children," said Chief Peter
C. Sarna, Oakland School Police Department. "Thanks to the dedication
of Foresters and KaBOOM!, West Oakland children will have a beautiful
new playspace at our summer youth program and City Park."
The playground at Wade Johnson Park will provide 4,500 children and
their families in the West Oakland community with a great place to play
and engage in healthy family time. In less than eight hours, the
child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of
volunteers from Foresters, Oakland Unified School District Police
Services, the City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency and the surrounding
community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing
games and participating in arts and crafts activities.
"A child who is given the chance to run, jump, laugh and enjoy the
company of other children and family is a happy child," said Council
member Nadel, City of Oakland City Council District Three. "In a
healthy environment, children not only expend negative energies but
also receive positive reinforcement. The installation of this
playground structure at Wade Johnson will provide the children in the
area with an added healthy environment and contribute to their
happiness and well-being."
Thanks to the work of Foresters, Oakland Unified School District Police
Services, the City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency and KaBOOM!,
children and their families now have a 2,400 square-foot playground to
call home that includes features such as Inclined Cliff Hanger, Round
Tube Slide and Zigzag Slide.
About Oakland Unified School District Police Services/Together We Can
The Together-We-Can program was founded in 2009 by the Oakland School
Police to create a safe environment in West Oakland for children to
learn and play. The program strives to create positive relationships
between youth and police officers in addition to bridging the gap as a
safe haven for many youths in the community.
About the City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency
Blight is defined as a combination of conditions that lead to economic
and physical burdens so extreme that a community cannot reverse the
situation on its own. The City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency works
with the community to eliminate physical and economic blight and
promote growth and positive change in each of its ten redevelopment
areas. For more information about the City of Oakland Redevelopment
Agency, please visit http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CEDA/o/Redevelopment/index.htm.
Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, ForestersTM champions the well-being of families through quality life insurance,
unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters
shares its financial strength with more than 835,000ˆ members in the
United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unity Life of Canada‡, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, represents Foresters in
Canada. For more information, please visit www.foresters.com.
ForestersTM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal
benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.
ˆIncludes total number of UK Child Trust accounts
‡ Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned subsidiary
of The Independent Order of Foresters
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Because all
children deserve to be active and healthy, KaBOOM! works to ensure that
every child in America has a great place to play within walking
distance. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build
model to bring together businesses and communities to construct more
than 1,900 new places to play across North America. KaBOOM! also fights
the Play Deficit with online tools that empower communities to join the
movement to save play. The KaBOOM! website, kaboom.org, allows communities to self-organize and take action to support play on
a both a local and national level.
For further information:
Troy Flint, Oakland Unified School District, 510-879-8200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carletta Starks, City Council District Three, 510-409-5923, email@example.com
Ryan Jones, Foresters, 1-800-461-8431 x4096, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137, email@example.com